6:49am

Tue October 18, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Arena Task Force Holds Public Meeting

The central Kentucky community is invited to a public meeting Tuesday evening about the future of downtown Lexington and Rupp Arena. Architect Gary Bates of Space Group will be at the event. He's the man chosen by the Arena, Arts & Entertainment District task force for a design upgrade of Rupp Arena, the Lexington Center, and the surrounding area. Chairman Brent Rice says the task force has spent the past several months gathering information, and hired the consulting firm Global Spectrum.

"They have conducted an evaluation of Rupp and the convention center to see structurally what the possibilities are there and to also give us the needed information as far as cost on a new facility."

Rice says no decision has been made about what to do with the home for University of Kentucky men's basketball. The arena is 35 years old.

"We're still in an information-gathering process. We're evaluating all of the options. A new facility is certainly an option, and what we like to call a reinvented Rupp' is an option also."

Mayor Jim Gray formed the task force in late march, and since then various committees within the group have met nearly 30 times. Tuesday's public meeting runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at Buster's Billiards & Backroom on Manchester Street.